Flaherty Confirms Budget Will Not Be Balanced in 2014

While making his iconic annual pre-budget shoe purchase at a Toronto store on Friday morning, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed that he will not be presenting a balanced budget next week in Ottawa. He reiterated that the Conservatives are more inclined to “stay the course” into 2015. It’s a well followed tradition for Canadian finance ministers to wear new shoes when they deliver a budget.

Explaining few points of the budget to be presented on Tuesday, Flaherty alleged that the primary function of the budget is to make sure the government doesn’t “waver from the path” of fiscal responsibility. He mentioned that “if we really forced the numbers, we might be able to get close to a balanced budget,” but quickly added that “I’ve never been a believer in that.” Furthermore, Flaherty explained that “I think when we balance, which will be next year, we need to have the confidence of the Canadian people that we are clearly balanced, without question.”

However, Mr. Flaherty did not provide any specific detail as to what Canadians should expect in the upcoming budget, except only revealing that the government is staying precautious and maintaining a $3-billion risk fund. He stated that “we need to do that because things happen, it’s a big country,” indicating towards last summer’s floods in Alberta cost taxpayers $3 billion. Additionally, Flaherty quoted figures from recent Statistics Canada report and said “the trend is good and this is comforting as we plan the budget and plan modest, steady job growth in Canada.”

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